6.2/10
19,011
61 user 137 critic

Burke and Hare (2010)

Trailer
2:15 | Trailer
A black comedy about two nineteenth century grave robbers, who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school.

Director:

John Landis
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Bailey ... Hangman
Tom Wilkinson ... Doctor Robert Knox
Michael Smiley ... Patterson
Tim Curry ... Doctor Monro
Paul Davis ... Patient
Christian Brassington ... Charles
Gabrielle Downey Gabrielle Downey ... Mad Maggie
Stuart McQuarrie ... Magistrate
Simon Pegg ... William Burke
Andy Serkis ... William Hare
Mike Goodenough Mike Goodenough ... Aggrieved Customer
Jessica Hynes ... Lucky
Robert Fyfe ... Old Donald
Robert Willox Robert Willox ... Gravediggers' Bouncer
David Schofield ... Fergus
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Five years after jilting his pregnant fiancée on their wedding day, out-of-shape Dennis decides to run a marathon to win her back.

Director: David Schwimmer
Stars: Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A crime novelist, whose research on Victorian serial killers has turned him into a paranoid wreck, must confront his worst fears, when a film executive takes a sudden interest in his movie script.

Directors: Crispian Mills, Chris Hopewell
Stars: Simon Pegg, Paul Freeman, Amara Karan
Big Nothing (2006)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A frustrated, unemployed professor joins forces with a scammer and a friend of his in a blackmailing scheme.

Director: Jean-Baptiste Andrea
Stars: David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg, Alice Eve
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Professional hit-man Charlie Wolfe finds himself in three tales of murder, blackmail and revenge after a botched contract assignment.

Director: Kriv Stenders
Stars: Simon Pegg, Teresa Palmer, Alice Braga
Susan's Plan (1998)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Susan wants her reprehensible ex-husband dead and, in several bungled attempts by henchmen, tries to accomplish the deed. First her boyfriend hires two dim-witted hitmen. Then she hires a ... See full summary »

Director: John Landis
Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Billy Zane, Michael Biehn
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A British writer struggles to fit in at a high-profile magazine in New York City.

Director: Robert B. Weide
Stars: Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Marie is a vampire with a thirst for bad guys. When she fails to properly dispose of one of her victims, a violent mob boss, she bites off more than she can chew and faces a new, immortal danger.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Anne Parillaud, Anthony LaPaglia, Robert Loggia
The Stupids (1996)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

An incredibly dull-witted family unknowingly stumble upon an illegal weapons deal while on the trail of their "stolen" garbage.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Tom Arnold, Jessica Lundy, Bug Hall
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A psychiatrist searches the globe to find the secret of happiness.

Director: Peter Chelsom
Stars: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Tracy Ann Oberman
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A group of eccentric aliens confers a human being with the power to do absolutely anything, as an experiment.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Sanjeev Bhaskar
Cuban Fury (2014)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Beneath Bruce Garrett's under-confident, overweight exterior, the passionate heart of a salsa king lies dormant. Now, one woman is about to reignite his Latin fire.

Director: James Griffiths
Stars: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O'Dowd
Slasher (TV Movie 2004)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A documentary on a stereotypically shady used car salesman, one who convinces customers to buy vehicles that others have deemed unfit for sale.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Christin Ackerman, Emily Banks, Michael Bennett
Edit

Storyline

Based on the true story about the famous murderers, this movie follows the hapless exploits of William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis) as they fall into the highly profitable business of providing cadavers for the medical fraternity in nineteenth century Edinburgh, Scotland, then the center of medical learning. The one thing they were short of was bodies.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're making a killing. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriters Nick Moorcroft and Piers Ashworth wrote this movie on speculation, and sold it to the head of Ealing Studios, Barnaby Thompson. See more »

Goofs

The (Royal) Lyceum Theatre, referenced in the film, did not exist in 1828 as it was not built until 1883. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Monro: [after blood spurts from a corpse onto a horrified onlooker] That... would be an artery.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This is a true story. Except for the parts that are not. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Post Mortem with Mick Garris: John Landis (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Lyrics by James Thomson
See more »

User Reviews

 
The biggest challenge the story faced was turning two mass murderers into characters you can follow, laugh with and have empathy for and I think this film does it really well.
29 October 2010 | by PatrickSamuelSee all my reviews

Released just in time for Halloween is the macabre tale of Burke and Hare! Set in 1820's Edinburgh, two Irish immigrants, William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), try one business venture after the next, and one after the next they fail. Just at the point where they're about to face financial ruin, the duo come up with an ingenious idea when they spot a in the niche in the market for the supply and demand of fresh dead bodies which manages to turn their fortunes around.

The story is inspired by true events which took place in Edinburgh between November 1827 and 31 October 1828 when the real life Bukre and Hare murdered 16 people and sold their bodies to a private anatomy lecturer, Doctor Robert Knox (played by Tom Wilkinson in the film), for dissection at Edinburgh Medical College. Although this is the 8th time their story has been brought to the big screen, this marks the first time that we see them as two likable lead characters.

From a screenplay penned by Nick Moorcroft and Piers Ashworth and directed by the legendary John Landis, Burke And Hare harks back to the days of the old Ealing Studios dark comedies like Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) and The Ladykillers (1955) which director John Landis is very fond of. It looks at the friendship between these two guys and focuses on the idea of who the bad guys really are. The doctors or the killers themselves? Mixing in a little Shakespeare with an all female production of Macbeth by Isla Fisher's character, Ginny, an aspiring young actress whom Burke falls madly in love with, another layer is added to the story. While Ginny ponders what would drive a man like Macbeth to murder, Burke looks at her and explains the character's motivation; "He did it for love".

By and large, I really enjoyed Bukre and Hare. The biggest challenge the story faced was turning two mass murderers into characters you can follow, laugh with and have empathy for and I think this film does it really well. As Burke is talked into the business with Hare, there's never the slightest feeling that his friend is purposefully leading him down a path to his own downfall, unlike the real Hare who gave Burke up in the end to escape a public hanging. Another element of the movie which was enjoyable was seeing so many familiar faces turning up in smaller roles; Ronnie Corbett decked out in his red and blue uniform as Captain McLintock, Christopher Lee as Old Joseph, one of Buke and Hare's early unfortunates and perhaps the most hilarious scene of all is when they push Paul Whitehouse down a flight of stairs! It's a good one to see if you're after something dark and funny this Halloween.


55 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 61 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Burke & Hare See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

GBP7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$947, 11 September 2011

Gross USA:

$4,833

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,791,599
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed